Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The Elvis Roll

You ever have a bad idea that you knew was a bad idea, but you thought it should be good? No? Well, that must be nice for you. So I had this idea for an Elvis Roll. Inspired by the story that Elvis Presley used to enjoy peanut butter, banana and bacon sandwiches. The basic idea is a whole banana, covered in peanut butter, wrapped in bacon, and baked into a flaky delicious crust. I gathered up an unusually straight banana for easy wrapping, some bacon, some peanut butter and some Pillsbury crescent rolls.

I started with a bacon weave. I had never done this before, so I was worried, but it's ridiculously easy. Just laid out 5 strips of bacon all lined up and then worked another 5 in between them. Put it on a baking sheet covered in foil and pop it in the oven at around 400. I checked on it probably too frequently, but I was worried it would get a little overcooked and crispy, which would cause trouble when I needed to wrap it around a banana. Also of note here, I used some really cheap bacon. That was a mistake. This was just the store brand, which I hoped was good because I shop at Wegmans which is so awesome you just don't even understand, but it turned out to be a little disappointing. My current bacon of choice is Oscar Mayer's Hearty Thick Cut Bacon.

So once it's out of the oven I simply spread the peanut butter on the weave. In hindsight, I should have used more peanut butter. I was worried about it melting and leaking in the last step, but I believe my fears were unfounded. Then on goes the banana and just roll the bacon around it. The peanut butter makes this easy since it will hold everything together for you.

Now for the flaky delicious crust. One package of Pillsbury Crescent Rolls worked out well for this. A package contains 8 crescent rolls that are in 4 rectangles that are split up into two sheets. I took the first sheet and laid it flat on a baking sheet and placed the rolled bacon log in the middle of it. I kind of held the sides up to wrap around the bacon log and put the other sheet on top, folding it so that the top sheet overlapped the bottom sheet and held it all together in a roll shape. Into the oven for about 15-20 minutes at 375 until the crust turns a nice golden brown.

All in all, it was kind of odd. Not terrible, not something I would have again, but I did finish the whole thing. I was happy to have an excuse to try out a bacon weave and a Pillsbury crescent roll crust. Those are two things that I'm definitely going to use in other meals. So I feel I had some alright experience with this, which is half the reason I made it.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Chocolate Pudding Pie in Oreo with Oreo covered in Oreo

My mother would always make a chocolate pudding pie for Christmas. And Thanksgiving. Really any holiday where a chocolate pudding pie could be appropriate. Actually, she still does, but I haven't been home for Christmas for a few years now. But since she is visiting me over the New Year I thought it would be Christmassy to make a pie myself.

Now, she usually gets the Jello cook and serve pudding mix, but I'm lazy, so I went with instant. As usual when I go shopping, one thing led to another and I walked out with Jello Instant Chocolate Pudding, an Oreo pie crust, and a package of Oreos with a vague idea of what I wanted to make.

Oreo cookies, separatedBowl of Oreo filling

What I had in mind was a chocolate pudding pie with some real Oreo pieces in it and an icing made from melted Oreo creme filling. So I separated out the Oreo cookies from the creme with just a butter knife until I felt I had enough. Cookie pieces in a plastic bag, smash 'em up, and pour them in with the milk and dry pudding mix. Pour that all into the pie crust and stick it in the fridge.

I left it in the fridge for about 5 minutes to firm it up a little. Then I just popped the small bowl of creme filling into the microwave for about 15 seconds at a time, stirring to heat it evenly. I didn't quite have enough though, so it came out a little thin.

Finished product
Delicious pie

It was chocolaty and delicious. Overall, I think it was a success. Next time I do it I think I'm going to reduce the milk a little bit more, to get a firmer texture and make up for the added volume of the cookie pieces. And of course use about twice as much creme. Now, the creme layer once it hardens is a bit brittle. It tended to break and crack like a thin layer of ice when I cut it. I'm not really sure how to solve that issue, but it's always something I can experiment with later.